Christians have been observing the 40 days of personal sacrifice leading up to Easter for a couple thousand years. However, the actual celebration of Mardi Grasis is thought to date back to medieval Europe. It means Fat Tuesday in Latin because it was the last opportunity eat meat (and party) before the Lenten season began on Ash Wednesday. (It’s also called Carnival, literally ‘the putting away of meat’).
People around the world have been partying hardy ever since. These days the revelry is likely to begin days before the actual event (which is Feb. 28 this year) and attract everybody regardless of their religious persuasion. If you’re a history buff, go ahead and Google Mardi Gras to learn more about the holiday. Or skip the history lesson and, immerse yourself in a party near you. “Let the good times roll” as they say in New Orleans, the location of the granddaddy of all U.S. Mardi Gras celebrations.
Mardi Gras Near You and Me
To help you out, we’ve pulled together a guide to 2017 Mardi Gras celebrations close to Taylor Morrison communities. So, party on, people! But please, designate a driver or call a taxi service.
Bay Area Mardi Gras Events
- Mardi Gras San Francisco Style with a free blues concert at the Fillmore Center Plaza or a masquerade ball at the East Coast Conference Center. Event details.
Sacramento Mardi Gras Events
- Shannon McCabe’s Mardi Gras Masked Ball in Old Sacramento promises an authentic New Orleans experience, Feb. 18. Adults only. Event details.
- Orange County – Here’s a listing of adults-only and family-friendly Orange County Mardi Gras events
- San Diego – The downtown Gaslamp Quarter Mardi Gras includes a parade, live music and food. Details.
Phoenix Mardi Gras Events
- Folks in Mesa, AZ can get into the Mardi Gras spirit all year long at Pier de Orleans for Cajun food. Details.
Denver Mardi Gras Events
- Denver recreates a Bourbon Street experience at the Expo Event Center Feb. 25. Details.
Austin Mardi Gras Events
- Denver recreates a Bourbon Street experience at the Expo Event Center Feb. 25th. Details.
Dallas Mardi Gras Events
- Mardi Gras Texas-style with 20 bands on 5 stages at the State Fair Grounds, Feb. 18. Details.
Houston Mardi Gras Events
- Mardi Gras Galveston runs Feb. 17 – 28 and includes parades, entertainment and a 10K run. Details.
Chicago Mardi Gras Events
- Check out this list of 10 Chicago-area Mardi Gras events including samba parades, food and adult beverages. Details.
- Do something healthy (before the parties start). Try this Mardi Gras Chaser 5/10K Feb. 28. Details.
Atlanta Mardi Gras Events
- You can definitely find a craw fish fest, a bar crawl and a street car party. Dates and details.
Tampa Mardi Gras Events
- Bourbon St. meets Main St. at the Dunedin Mardi Gras Feb. 28. Details.
Orlando Mardi Gras Events
- Florida’s biggest party includes parades and entertainment at Universal Florida Feb. 4 – March 25. Details.
Sarasota, Fort Myers/Naples Mardi Gras Events
- Mardi Gras Evening on Fifth Avenue South in Naples Feb. 28 for live entertainment and more. Details.
Raleigh Mardi Gras Events
- The Wake Forest Mardi Gras festivities kick on Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. and include a street fair, walking parade, kids activities and contests. Details.
- Durham’s Mardi Gras includes a parade and after party, Feb. 28. Details.